Societal Benefits of Community Psychology

community psychologyThe branch of psychology that is concerned with the assessment and treatment of illness, which are mental or related to the behavior of a person, is called clinical psychology. This part of medical science is mainly concerned with the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. The field integrates the science of psychology with the treatment of the complex human problems or mental illnesses making it a rewarding experience for the doctors who pursue this field. Considered the largest subfield of psychology, in this includes child and adult mental health, learning disabilities, substance abuse, geriatrics, health psychology and emotional disturbances. It was only in the latter half of the 19th century that psychology was recognized. This was the time when Lighter Witmer helped to treat a boy with a learning disability and after that opened a psychology clinic which would cater to children with disabilities.

Society benefits equivocally from community psychology for psychologists understand the thought processes and behavior of a human being. Helping the community effectively, clinical psychology has been operative in curing various diseases like depression, eating disorders, and anxiety in individuals irrespective of their age. This stream of CBT becomes difficult to patients being pushed more towards situations, which catalyzes their disorder further. Psychology concerns in providing for research and developing new treatments with protection for such patients.

Psychology is not limited to people who are being diagnosed with some mental condition or behavioral abnormalities. There are trained doctors who would examine individuals in an attempt to let others achieve the same happiness during their difficult times. Individual psychologists like Martin E. Seligman developed treatments after observing other psychologists during World War II. Instead of focusing on people who are disturbed or traumatized, the doctor concentrated solely on the ability to be happy despite the conditions. This led him to understand the workings of people being happy in spite of the adverse conditions that they are put in. Furthermore, he concluded through his study that if both community and people around the patient are happy, there is a rapid improvement in the patient also. This meant that when psychology could change a negative outlook to that of the positive one, society would benefit from the encouraging and favorable disposition of the individual.

This stream of medicine is not limited to particular kinds of people displaying certain traits or behavioral patterns. The professional and legal experts have also benefitted from community psychology. Some psychologists would use their expertise to improved understanding of the criminal minds and ensure that justice is brought to all the parties involved.

The History of Community Psychology

history community psychologyThe history of community psychology can be tracked down to the post world war II time. It is in that period that tremendous change started taking place. Many people who came back from the war had severe mental health issues which were the reason behind finding a discipline which could answer the need for community members at that era. Community psychology is a field which is transformative because it is changing to adapt to issues that are evolving in communities. This article will look at how individuals relate to society being the concern of community psychology.

Psychology came as a result of issues that individuals and the community as a whole were facing. As the quote from Einstein indicates, the issue or problem definition is not an incidental one. How we define a problem shapes the questions we ask, the methods we use to answer these matters, and the way we interpret those answers.

How we define a problem has such far –reaching effects that social scientists have declared problem definition to be an ethical issue. Assumptions that we make about a problem determine how we define the problem, which in turn determines the ways we approach and try to solve it. This may be true when we are not consciously aware of the assumptions we are making. Our background precisely; Personal experiences, cultural background, education, and biases (and sometimes the biases that came with our knowledge) help shape those assumptions, which may prevent effective responses to the problem. Our assumptions can thus become the real issue. If we ignore how issues are framed, the viewpoint from which we derive our definitions, we will be imprisoned by those frames.

Community psychologists think outside the traditional boxes of psychology to define problems and generate interventions at many levels. There are individual problems or interventions. Everything that humans do takes place in social contexts: in culture, a locality, a setting (such as a workplace, school, playground, or home), and in a set of personal relationships. For example, a child matures within many social contexts. When a client arrives for a psychotherapy session, he or she brings a particular set of life experiences (in social settings), as does the therapist. They form a relationship that is rooted not only in who they are as persons but also in cultural, gender, social, economic (e.g. who pays for treatment, and how does that affect it?), and other context.

The relationship of an individual to the society in community psychology context is triggered by factors that make up the personality of that individual. This means that anything a person does is explained by whatever triggered the action.